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Thursday's with Macke


"If you don't make fun of Hot Topic the disease has won!"


I was enormously pleased and impressed to see the Retail Roundup had been posted this morning by Mr. Collins. That's the kind of steady (dare I say Ripken-esque? No... I dare not) performance that's going to convince us to remove the leg irons! You know, at some point.

That said, the numbers looked sort of... barren to me without the snark. Somewhat under-dressed. Not underdressed like an "18-ish" year old Abercrombie (ANF) model. Underdressed in a bad way; like an emperor strutting about naked with no one there to call him out on it.

This must be corrected. Like Willis Reed hobbling onto the court in that famous Game 7, I'm limping out to hit the retail hi-lights.

Keep in mind, Willis didn't actually play well in that game and the Retail Roundup isn't exactly quantum physics under normal circumstances...

Abercrombie and Fitch: Same Store Sales up 29% vs. +14% estimates

I'm actually somewhat proud (in a quiet, manful way) that I've been able to restrain myself from mentioning LFO's one-hit wonder "Abercrombie and Fitch". And no, I don't really care what the song's title really was.

The song is simply pop-music hook genius, right down to the unintentionally (?) hysterical lyrics.

"When you take a sip it makes you buzz like a hornet,

Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole bunch o' sonnets"

Man, when that stuff works you just have to extend a grudging admiration, no matter what you think it says about "society".

Sort of like Abercrombie & Fitch, the store; there's a little too much of a creepy / Lolita vibe for my taste but, wow, the chain keeps rolling big sales numbers.

BeBe (BEBE): SSS up 40.3% vs. 24% estimates.

Holy cow. The numbers out of BeBe lately call to mind the hey-day of steroid baseball when Bond's would hit 5 homeruns on the only five strikes he'd see in a week. Is this even possible? 40%? Were they closed last year?

Remarkable numbers and there is clearly no drug testing risk in fashion.

The Gap (GPS) SSS (8%) vs. (3.3%) estimates.

Tradition holds that once the Gap starts missing they keep doing so for longer than anyone thinks. Remember: this season's winners have been denim.

I don't care how over-stored they are; the Gap shouldn't have -8% comps when denim is hot.

Mens Warehouse (MW): Up 12.8% vs. estimates of 7.3%.

Don't look for these guys to break into tears mourning the death of "casual Friday all week!" in American offices.

Neimans (NMG) and Nordies (JWN) both better than expected

Neiman Marcus and Nordstroms two of the hotter non-specialty type of retails going and Wal-Mart (WMT) can't shoot straight.

The world has gone mad and, again, one of these days I'm going to buy some Nordstrom's stock.

Pier 1 Imports (PIR) (7.7%) vs estimates for up 2.2. Company also warns.

With all the "plague-transmitting monkies in every 3rd wicker basket!" jokes I can't help but feel somewhat to blame.

Sharper Image (SHRP) Down 15% vs. can-this-be-right? estimates for up 15%

I can only wish that my observations that Sharper Image's trademark Ionic air purifiers actually spew ozone would have had something to do with this miss.

It was one thing when they were harmless snake-oil. Actually doing harm is much worse.

Hot Topic (HOTT): SSS Down 1.9% vs. estimates for up .8

Though unabashed family men are the natural enemy of goth grrrrls in the wild, I remain long the stock for the second consecutive month of disappointing sales.

Needless to say, the customers aren't sympathetic to my disappointment. They only put up with me because they "dig (my) emotional pain".

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Position in HOTT and ANF

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